Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Reasons to Read the Fine Print....

I admit, tonight I jumped to conclusions when it came to my husband’s choice of dish soap.  The front panel proudly boasted “KILLS 99.9% of germs”.  Being an expert of chemical disinfectants I instantly assumed that while I have talked, I have explained,  I have educated and yes, probably even nagged against the concerns over the use of antibacterial products at home and triclosan in particular, he had chosen to ignore my advice and expertise.  I automatically jumped to the conclusion that he had yet again.....not listened.

But to be sure (and of course to prove I was right), I read the back of the label.  To my surprise, the detergent did not contain triclosan but citric acid and as we have discussed in one of the Chemistry Report Cards....citric acid is not too bad.  Good job husband!  I even learned after admitting to him I had jumped to conclusions that he read the panel looking for the active ingredient before buying it!  Double awesome!  Not only had he listened, he paid attention!

While I was checking the label for the active ingredient I figured I may as well read the instructions...  Remember we’re talking about a dish detergent.  You know the stuff you squirt into water to make it all sudsy?  You know the one that you’re supposed to dilute before you use?  Have you ever read the label to see what the instructions are so that you can achieve the 99.9% kill claim?  I haven’t; after all, I’m washing dishes by hand and not particularly concerned with whether or not I achieve any level of sanitizing or disinfection.  I want them clean.  I also know that any bactericidal activity will likely be overwhelmed by the food soils I’m putting into the water.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that in order to achieve the disinfection claim as boasted by the front panel the dish detergent needed to be used UNDILUTED and left on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping off.  Now who on earth would use a dish detergent in that manner!  I mutter and grumble when I put too much in the water and the suds become unmanageable and the dishes slippery!

The moral of the story is, just as we have preached in several of our "Talk Clean To Me" blogs, the need to understand how to use disinfectants e.g. the right dilution, the right method of application and the right contact time, we can’t forget that reading labels does not stop when we walk out of our “office” doors.  We all use chemicals at home, be it bathroom cleaner-disinfectants, window cleaners, soap scum removers or liquid dish detergents.  Go check your labels!  Do you have anything at home that you thought was a disinfectant and assumed it killed on contact time because that’s the impression given during advertisement on the TV?

Bugging Off!  I have more labels to read.....
                                                               
Nicole

Friday, May 22, 2015

Do you know what humans, birds, pigs and dogs have in common

Why INFLUENZA of course!

Many of us are highly aware of the Avian Influenza outbreak that has been spreading throughout several states in the US and a couple of provinces in Canada.  The outbreak has been devastating.  It is sweeping across the Midwest at a frightening pace and ravaging chicken and turkey farms. At last count, the outbreak had hit 15 states and 174 farms and because there's no vaccine, once a case has been confirmed on a farm then all birds, healthy or sick, must be euthanized to try to stop the virus.

Did you know that there is also an outbreak of Canine Influenza circulating in the US?  I’ll admit, I’m more of a cat lover than a dog lover.  Don’t get me wrong - I like dogs, but growing up on a farm I didn't have to take my beloved lab on daily walks or pick up her poop.....and there’s something to be said about cats and their independence.  If they have food, water and a clean litter pan, they’re good for several days on their own!

It’s likely my bias for cats that is the reason it has taken me several weeks to blog about the canine influenza outbreak that made headlines in April after an estimated 1,000 dogs in Chicago contracted the virus.  A single isolated city seems less concerning than the fact that the virus is popping up in other states. As of yesterday Alabama, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa  Georgia and Indiana have confirmed cases.

Similar to how respiratory disease spreads at a daycare or airport — with people sneezing and coughing on each other -  dogs  also spread the virus from nose to nose (or direct) contact between dogs.  Travel plays a significant part in transmitting and expanding the outbreak.  When we travel we increase the chance of exposing our dogs to dogs with the virus and inevitably we bring it back to our hometowns.

Similar to concerns with humans, very young and geriatric dogs are at higher risk for infectious disease and caution should be taken when these dogs are taken to dog parks, events, etc.  Vigilance is important.  Symptoms for canine influenza include signs of fever, lethargy, coughing and nasal or eye discharge.  The good news is while most dogs are susceptible to the flu, most recover from the illness within two to three weeks.

Further good news is that similar to other Influenza Viruses (Human, Avian, Swine), canine influenza is still an easy to kill enveloped virus, meaning the virus is easily killed by disinfectants.   Routine infection control precautions are key to preventing spread of viral disease within facilities.  Protocols should be established for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cages, bowls, and other surfaces between uses. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are unavailable) before and after handling each dog; after coming into contact with a dog's saliva, urine, feces, or blood; after cleaning cages; and upon arriving at and before leaving the facility. 

If you’re a dog owner, I hope your pooch stays healthy!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, May 15, 2015

Would you eat off of your desk?

Ask someone what they think of their colleague’s messy desk and you can be assured you’ll get a strong response.  My guess is half of the people you ask will be “appalled” by how messy a colleagues’ office is and likely chalk it up to laziness.  I suppose if you classify travelling to much and running from meeting to meeting being lazy then the somewhat neatly stacked piles of files on my desk could be construed as being too lazy to file...

The truth is being neat and tidy is only half the battle.  Certainly, keeping a tidy desk will improve (or  supposed to improve) your mindset and motivation to work, but more importantly, it will help prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains, fingerprints and most significantly germs!  In fact, some studies that have been conducted have shown that our workplace desk can be 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat!   While we may think the keyboard or mouse would be the dirtiest as we are forever touching them...our phone is actually the dirtiest object in our office. 

It’s no wonder that our desk spaces are dirtier than ever.  One of the largest factors in creating an unhygienic workplace is that more people are working through their lunches and eating at their desks.  In fact, our desk is 100 times less hygienic than your kitchen table!  For some it may seem odd, but the truth is that like us, bacteria need food.  Crumbs from your lunch provide the much needed food to allow bacteria to thrive and proliferate.

In Canada, workers took an average of 9.3 sick days in 2011.  These absences cost the economy about $16.6 billion based on salary cost for the days lost, and that tally did not include the cost for replacement workersIn the United States, poor health costs the economy $576 billion a year. Of that amount, 39%, or $227 billion is from “lost productivity” from employee absenteeism due to illness, or from what researchers called “presenteeism,” which is when employees report to work but illness keeps them from performing at their best.

Many of these statistics are highlighted in the ISSA’s Infographic “How clean is your work space”.  I think the most surprising to me is that only 3% of offices sufficiently clean their equipment...I suppose it could be due to the fact that if the space is messy it makes it difficult to clean, but the truth is cleaning improves our health.  In fact cleaning is an investment in both our own and our employee’s health.  While we do not want to be treated like children and make them do chores such as cleaning their room, it may be prudent to have “office cleaning time” each week to ensure that housekeeping staff that clean our office spaces can in fact clean the spaces....

I wonder if next fall when flu season comes around whether I will be healthier if I keep my desk clean - my thought is that will only be the case if I stop treating it like my kitchen table!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, May 8, 2015

Are you afflicted with the Clean Syndrome?

This week I participated in a symposium organized by the ISSA (International Sanitation Supply Association).  The event focused on The ROI of Clean – An Industry Forum.    There were several key takeaways from the day, but the "pearl of wisdom” that really struck a chord with me was the concept of the “Clean Syndrome”.   Some of you may know of it by another name.....your mom.  You know that person who miraculously was always there to pick up after you and keep the house tidy?  Then one day you grew up, moved out and wondered how you came to live in such a pig sty? 

The concept of the “Clean Syndrome” is that if the space you occupy is clean, you are more apt to keep it clean (e.g. clean up after yourself, a colleague or your boss).  It’s a simple concept.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  If you see a mess, clean it up.  If you have a candy wrapper in your hand, don’t drop it because there is no garbage can within your sight line and for Pete’s sake DO NOT DROP IT ON THE GROUND just because you’re outside and on your way to the car.

Imagine a culture where each of us took pride in ensuring our facility looked immaculate.  I mean immaculate ALL the time, not just because you have an important visitor coming.  Imagine if you saw a piece of trash on the floor or lane way while walking into the office you picked it up.  Imagine what would happen if everyone started to do that!

If you were to Google “Clean Syndrome” you’ll find a number of entries on OCD.  In no way am I saying that we need to become obsessive, but there is plenty of science to show that a clean environment aids in improving quality and quantity of work.  We know that a clean environment can stop the spread of diseases.  We know that people follow by example and within the hospital environment it’s not enough to simply tell people to wash their hands.  A facility that changes their culture so that everyone from the C-suite down believes in the importance of hand hygiene and sets the example by doing it, will see an improvement in hand hygiene rates. 

The same follows suit for cleaning the environment.  If we all work to keep a facility clean we set an example and show the housekeeping staff that their role is a vitally important one.  If we all work together we can build a culture of keeping it clean and not a culture of leaving it to the housekeeper, the janitor or the secretary to clean up after you. 

Thanks to Lori, Diana and Carlos who keep our office clean....especially Lori and Diana who are always cleaning up after us!   I hope you’ll thank whoever it is at your facility that keeps the space clean and perhaps the next time you see a wrapper on the floor, rather than walk over it pick it up!  After all, clean space is a healthy space.  OH....to the person who keeps putting their dirty dishes in the sink, we do have a dishwasher you know....and if it’s full of clean dishes, empty it!

Bugging Off!


Nicole

Friday, May 1, 2015

#FF Spring Buds Enthusiasm for Education!

Theoretically we are about 1.5 months into spring, but I think most of us would agree that March and April were far from spring like conditions!  I'm thrilled that May is here and with it, far more temperate weather, blooming daffodils and budding trees!

With the arrival of May it's time to provide the next installment of the Webber Training Teleclasses that I think may be relevant to our conversation of all things related to chemical disinfection for hands, surfaces and devices.  As noted in past blogs, the Teleclass Education by Webber Training is an international lecture series on infection prevention and control topics. The objective is to bring the best possible infection prevention and control information; to the widest possible audience; with the fewest barriers to access. 


Date
Title of Teleclass
Speaker        
May 5th
10 Years of WHO Clean Care is Safer Care; Why You Should be a Part of the Social Pandemic that is Safe Lives: Clean Your Hands
Prof. Didier Pittet, WHO, Geneva
May 13th
Understanding Consumer Perceptions of HAI and Hand Hygiene Through a Global Survey
Claire Kilpatrick, WHO & Dr. Maryanne McGuckin, McGuckin Methods International
May 21st
Is Your Phone Bugged? The Role of Mobile Technology in Infection Control
Richard Brady, UK
May 27th
Food Safety Culture - From Farm to Fork
Dr. Douglas Powell, Australia
June 3rd
Preventing Infections in Healthcare Workers: Strategies and Challenges
Bruce Gamage, Canada
June 10th
Patient Empowerment as Part of an Asian Hand Hygiene Programme
Prof. Yee Chun Chen, Taiwan
July 23rd
Gastrointestinal Endoscopes: A Need to Shift From Disinfection to Sterilization
Prof. William Rutala, USA

For more information on Webber Training, including a full list of the upcoming Infection Prevention and Control Teleclasses, please visit www.webbertraining.com

I hope many of you will take the opportunity to listen to these teleclasses and share them with your colleagues! 

Bugging Off!


Nicole